Rites of Spring: Tcherniakov embraces Rimsky-Korsakov’s hymn to nature at the Bastille

Rimsky-Korsakov: The Snow Maiden ****

Opéra Bastille, 15th April 2017

There’s a wonderful painting by Ilya Repin of an aged Leo Tolstoy in peasant clothing. Having renounced his aristocratic lifestyle, the great writer didn’t just adopt peasant dress, but lived and worked alongside the workers on his estate, ploughing the fields, repairing their homes. Dmitri Tcherniakov’s depiction of Tsar Berendey in his new production of The Snow Maiden reminded me of this painting. His Tsar is no remote ruler, but the leader of a commune trying to recreate the old days. Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera is a great hymn to nature and Tcherniakov completely embraces its spirit.

Aida Garifullina (Snegurochka)
© Elisa Haberer | Opéra National de Paris

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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